In many ways this is the most important year in a child’s primary education. It is in this year that the children begin to make the transition from working in a primary school style to the method of learning that is commonly employed in the secondary school. Expectations are high, both academically and socially. The aim is for the child to work to the best of his/her ability and to develop the social skills that include tolerance, good behaviour, respect and the understanding of the needs of others. All these also form a basis for lasting friendships.
As in most older-aged grouped classes throughout the school, the morning lessons are taken up largely with the more academic subjects, such as Mathematics and English. Spanish lessons also continue on a daily basis. The afternoons offer more practical areas of the curriculum; Physical Education, Music (taught by a specialist music teacher in the secondary school) and IPC feature regularly.
The major difference for pupils in Year 6 and their IPC units is that the children are expected to undertake small group or individual research on the unit currently under investigation, as well as class work. Some of this is at school but research assignments are also set in addition to the daily homework programme. During the course of a week, children in Year 6 experience a variety of learning opportunities.
At all times they are expected and encouraged to listen, observe and to formulate ideas and express themselves articulately. In any single week they may, for example, read out loud to the class, play-act, take part in a debate, engage in a question and answer session, work in a small group on a problem in Mathematics and so on. Teaching staff make provision for children whose English skills are still limited.
For the majority of the week the teacher of Year 6 teaches most of the subjects to the class in their own classroom but there are specialist teachers for certain subjects which are taught in different areas of the school. These include PE and Spanish. French and German lessons are also introduced in the Summer Term.
The use of the latest technology is, where appropriate, fully integrated into the curriculum. There is a regular daily homework requirement lasting between 30 and 40 minutes for each subject. Homework plays an important part in the curriculum and is treated accordingly.